A wonderful study by Guasch-Ferre and colleagues in Spain has evaluated the effect of nut consumption on mortality, including deaths from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all-cause mortality. The researchers spent 4.8 years - not very long a time period for a nutritional study - following over 7,000 men and women, aged 55 to 80 and all at high risk for cardiovascular disease. What they found was an impressive - an astounding! - 39% reduction in mortality among those instructed to add 3 or more servings a week of nuts to their diet. That reduction went up to 63% if the nuts were added to a Mediterranean diet! Eatingly only walnuts resulted in a 45% reduction in mortality.
The reduction in mortality in such a short period of time is truly astounding and wonderful news for people with cardiovascular problems. What could be better than 3 handfuls a week of different nuts as a helpful intervention to protect your heart! I would presume that what the nuts are providing are a delicious source of magnesium, a nutrient pervasively deficient in most diets and thus most people, and found in great supply in nuts and seeds! Reading the list of magnesium rich foods, many of them would appear in various forms of healthy diets, but nuts and dark chocolate deserve special attention as they are likely to be forgotten when we advise patients to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables!
Check out our recipe for Crispy Nuts. These are easy to make and great to have on hand when you need to grab a quick, nutritious snack!